Mass Transit - 26

The Upside of Multi-Level Transit Facilities

Thinking vertical about facilities can offer a solution
to meet cost and location requirements while
ensuring the facility meets its intended needs.


By Sean Beachy, Jeana Stright, contributors

s transit agencies work with
architects and engineers to
build their projects, they
not only need to address
the project requirements
within a budget but also
must contend with project factors such as site
constraints and regulations.
Building a multi-level facility
is one solution to these problems that entities including the
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) and Connecticut
Department of Transportation
(CTDOT) have used to get the
most out of their projects.

Site constraints

A great site is the foundation of
every successful project. Transit
agencies often struggle to acquire
the best piece of land for their
project due to key factors such as
location, cost and adjacency to
historic or protected properties,
just to name a few. It is important
for design teams to work closely
with owners to make the most out
of their site.
A great example of how site
considerations can affect construction are newer, stricter
stormwater retention requirements that were put in place to

Room at PVTA.

Photos by Wendel Companies

26 |

Mass Transit | | NOVEMBER 2019

prevent detrimental soil erosion,
stream contamination and other
harmful environmental effects.
These retention basins require
substantial space on the site or
can incur a significant cost impact if they are handled underground. Say you have the perfect
site in mind for your facility: the
right size, the right location, the
right access. Yet you discover that
the footprint of the building you
had in mind would not leave
enough space for the required retention basin. It isn't time to start
looking for a new site; it's time
to start rethinking the design of
your facility.
Wetlands and floodplain regulations can also be a factor when
building on a site. The Federal
Transit Administration does not
allow for building within the 100year floodplain, while some insurers are even stricter. For instance,
FM Global, who insures all state
buildings in Connecticut, does not
allow building within the 500-year
floodplain. Rather than paying for
large amounts of compacted fill to
reach the 500-year floodplain, CTDOT chose to construct a ground
floor level at the existing grade for
employee car parking at their new
Waterbury facility, and elevate the
rest of the building to the 500-year
level. This decision allowed them
to have less impervious surface at
grade level and protect views to
the scenic mountains and rivers
around the site.
A constrained site with limited access is another constraint
that CTDOT was faced with when
constructing their Waterbury
facility. The chosen site is located within a valley between two
mountains, with a river, a railroad and a recycling plant sur-

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
NRC Chairman's Column
A Robust Safety Culture Enhances an Entire System
U.S. Transit Safety and Security Report 2019
Going Vertical: The Upside of Multi-Level Transit Facilities
Considering the Rail Passenger Purview
Best Practices
Social Hubs
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - 12
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - NRC Chairman's Column
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - A Robust Safety Culture Enhances an Entire System
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - 20
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - U.S. Transit Safety and Security Report 2019
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - 24
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - Going Vertical: The Upside of Multi-Level Transit Facilities
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - Considering the Rail Passenger Purview
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - Best Practices
Mass Transit - 32
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - Products
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - 36
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - Social Hubs
Mass Transit - 39
Mass Transit - 40